An analysis of the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Noynoy Aquino delivered July 22, 2013

noynoy_aquinoNo wonder the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III took all of 102 minutes. He tried to cover every bit of detail in what was an unstructured litany of statistics, examples, and anecdotes. But to the expansion of BS Aquino’s speech in duration was a reportedly marked contraction in the enthusiasm that greeted it.

Facing the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, Aquino delivered a 102-minute, slightly longer than last year’s 91-minute SONA.

Lawmakers and guests at the Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa however broke into applause 88 times during his speech, versus 120 times in his SONA last year.

A quick “analysis” of these statistics reveals that a 12% increase in the SONA’s duration was matched by a 26% decline in applause.

What do these numbers mean?

Frankly I don’t know. Perhaps they don’t mean anything.

Just like the statistics above, people are left scratching their heads as to what exactly is the overarching meaning in this year’s SONA. President BS Aquino’s 2013 SONA read out like a computer data dump — like a list of binary digits printed out on reams of computer paper. They were dots that haven’t been connected. And when you behold a hundred-odd dots and no lines drawn between them, you can’t really say that a picture’s been drawn.

You’d expect of a Chief Executive a report that uses the statement of strategic vision that defines his administration as the overarching context of any “achievement” he enumerates. In the case of President BS Aquino, the notion of the “straight path” or daang matuwid defines the current presidency under the premise that if there is no corruption, there is no poverty; i.e. Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap.

So, sure, more books were delivered more cheaply, more classrooms are being built, less rice is being imported, more crops will be planted in between coconut harvests, more roads will be built connecting fishermen to richer waters, illegal fishing practices will be cracked down upon, squatters will be removed and prosecuted, PhilHealth membership will be expanded, hospitals will be modernised, disaster preparedness will be enhanced, more storm drains and anti-flooding measures built, more public housing will be built, lots of Glocks were given out to cops, this year’s elections were “more peaceful”, some cop stopped to help change a flat tire in Quezon Boulevard, a deal was cut with the Bangsamoro, more phones will be strung out to the hinterlands, choppers and ships were bought for the military, some new laws were enacted, more power plants built…. Yadda yadda yadda

What does it all mean?

It comes across as a badly-written job description — Government’s job description.

What President BS Aquino spelt out in the 2013 SONA in essence is a list of things that we all assumed government was doing all the while — doing its job. What government would not build more classrooms when its student body increases in size? What government does not aspire to arm its cops and soldiers, connect as many of its citizens’ homes to a communications network, improve access of its producers to raw materials and energy sources, either make deals with or crush to smithereens groups that pose threats to security, or strive to keep its biggest cities humming efficiently?

President BS Aquino’s SONA makes it looks like getting government back to the task of doing the job it was supposed to be doing all the while is such an astounding achievement. To be fair, this is of course the Philippines, where doing jobs properly and returning bags of cash left in taxi cabs to their distraught owners are regarded as pinnacles of Pinoy achievement. In that sense, credit goes to BS Aquino then if he has in the last three years, put enough rockets up enough bureaucrats’ asses to get things running at pwede na yan standards of service as he reports in this SONA. At least then, as the President keeps asserting every other paragraph of his speech, no “problems” will be “handed down” to his “successors”.

Pwede na yan.

You’d expect then that at the mid point of his term, the question of whether the Philippines is a less-corrupt country and whether this being less-corrupt has translated to less poverty will have been answered by the mid-term SONA.

Unfortunately for BS Aquino I do a better job of answering the question of whether BS Aquino’s government has delivered to its kung walang kurap, walang mahirap vision. This I did in a previous article that, in our usually exceptional prescient form, anticipates what the SONA will neglect to address. Quite simply there was a one-point improvement in corruption perception in the Philippines and a fair upgrade of its ranking. However, there was only a small increase in the Human Development Index, and debatable movement in the proportion of the economy dependent on OFW remittances. So did poverty decrease as a result of changes in corruption perception? The statistics are there but the conclusions will forever be debatable.

Even with this straightforward report of ours the simple elegance of which dwarfs the enormous convolution of BS Aquino’s 102-minute speech, one cannot rely on statistics nor on a litany of “accomplishments” to make a sound assessment of how much has really improved for the average Filipino. Even more impossible is the making of any convincing assertion that such accomplishments were fully attributable to a sitting president.

In the closing part of the speech, what BS Aquino calls “our SONA”, the following words were said…

The road ahead of us is long; and we never said it would be easy—or that we could tread this path free of challenge. But I do not doubt our capacity to overcome any obstacle. We did not achieve our current success by chance. Let us not allow this transformation to be temporary; let us seize this opportunity to make the change permanent.

In light of what we’ve concluded here — that overall success is debatable considering the litany of unconnected dots delivered, and that whatever success that is reported cannot be convincingly fully attributable to any one sitting president — the only thing we could say about the above is that a lot of assertions were made on the back of shaky assumptions. More importantly, the final call to action, that we “seize this opportunity to make the change permanent”, all but rings hollow when we look back and take stock of the Filipino’s track record of doing just that.

[Photo courtesy The Summit Express.]

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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62 Comments on "An analysis of the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Noynoy Aquino delivered July 22, 2013"

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Gogs
Member
Sorry but that was his slogan. That he would take on both poverty and corruption. He is at half time of his term. Does that mean he should have the two monumental problems half licked? Or maybe that was a bad choice of verbs considering who we are discussing. We are over 3 1/2 years removed from when he started campaign and he started making those grandiose promises. It will still boggle my mind that many people believed he could come through on those promises when his track record showed little evidence on him coming through on anything. So I… Read more »
Aegis-Judex
Guest

Actually, just a little over three years, seeing as the Yellow Fuhrer was sworn in at the end of June 2010.

That said, I never really found the substance in PNoy’s SONA. Sure, he ripped Customs a new one in public, and Biazon himself offered his resignation afterwards, but in the end it resulted in a simple purge of port collection leadership.

I think Biazon was in the right; if he can’t handle Customs, he should make room for someone who can. A good leader would acknowledge that, but PNoy being PNoy…

Tzeentch dammit.

Norman
Guest
One thing that has never been discussed or emphasized is the fact that the government has spent nearly 2T pesos (as its budget, yearly) to achieve the so-called economic growth the country showed over the last year or so. GMA, in her time, brought our country to a 7+ growth yet just spending below the 1T budget. The question is, where are we getting the money to sustain these huge government expenditures? PNOY will submit a 2.3 T Budget this year and I do not see any additional source of the country’s income that could pay for these expenditures? I… Read more »
begalon
Guest
Hey Norman, you have a valid concern on how can we afford to pay for all these programs and other developments. I have 30 years of experience in financial management so, allow me to cite a few source of budgetary concern. You see, evat and sin taxes is a huge budget source and other proper tax collection would help as well. There is a report that we loss 200 Trillion pesos annually over corruption and they can re-direct that source only if we could restrain that bad bad trait. Also there is a report, that the rich and famous pay… Read more »
Juan
Guest
nadismaya ako sa nabasa ko sayong inilathala. sa tingin mo ba wala talagang nagawang mabuti ang Presidente? ano bang nagawa mo para sa bayan? mangutya? kung bigyan ka kaya ng isang taon para mamuno bilang isang presidente, magagawa mo ba ang mga tungkulin mo? anong mga panukala kaya ang maibabahagi para masulusyunan ang kakulangan ng enerhiya? may nai-suggest ka na bang paraan para mailipat ang mga informal settlers? lahat nalang isinisisi ninyo sa iisang tao. ikaw ba may nagawa? di naman porket nangako sya ng sangkatutak sa taong bayan noon bago pa man sya mahalal eh matutupad nya lahat yon… Read more »
intelligentlyretarded
Guest
intelligentlyretarded

Oh for crying out loud!!! same rhetoric. About suggestions PLEASE backtrack their articles in this blog, you’d be surprised at the number of suggestions/plans laid out.

Oh well you’re prolly just another one of Carandang’s troll.

WinterSoldier
Guest

Juan is a TOTAL HYPOCRITE. A LIAR. A TROLL.

And TROLLS should go to HELL. 😛

Deal with it.

P.S.: I’m sure you won’t reply because what I’ve said is TRUE. 😀

william todcor
Guest
I just wanted to say a little regarding your comment to an earlier post by Norman. I personally participated in making request for government agencies like the MGB,NCIP, LGU and others to act on certain matters that are not favorable to the affected communities but hey simply ignore our request. The president even acknowledge that there are many agencies headed by stubborn people. Norman is just reflecting a real situation vis a vis the president’s litany. In Fairness there are advances of development during BS Aquino’s term but we have to consider that not all development is his own making… Read more »
sancho alconce
Guest

Juan, daghang tawo nga ga basa ini nga post nga di ka sabut ug tagawg labi na ug gibasa. Translation – “a lot of people reading this post don’t understand tagalog when it is being read”. Please translate to english your post.
Re; the SONA,the accomplishments in the economy seem limited to affecting only Noynoys friends and allies in both houses.

Charles G. Belgica
Guest
Kasi siya ang Presidente/Pangulo ng Pilipinas kaya ganun. May tungkulin ka sa bayan at kaakibat na kapangyarihan upang gawin ang tungkuling ito. Kung hindi masaya ang bayan sa ginagawa mo makinig ka sa sinasabi ng mga kababayan mo at magsumikap na muling gawin ang tungkulin na may ibayong pagsisikap at positibong panananaw. Hindi madali maging pangulo, mahirap ito. Hindi pwedeng pikon sa kuro-kuro ng iba.Pinili niyang maging pangulo kaya gampanan niya ito nang tama. Kung hindi niya kaya, dapat lang na umalis siya. Maging ano pa man ang pala-palagay ng mga tao, ang katotohanan ay nasa kanya pa rin ang… Read more »
domo
Guest

Nah your reasoning is such a big excuse. You’re more like praising your precious president like a God. If being a president is a very hard job, he shouldn’t have become one in the first because all he does for 3 years is nothing but noynoying.

domo
Guest

*first place

Rolando A.Baconguis
Guest

Right Mr. Damo. As per Aquino’s track record as legislator, 9 yrs in congress and 3 yrs in the Senate.He’d done nothing even a single legislation in the two houses bearing his signature. How much more being a Pwesident now.

merz
Guest

all filiponos has a common sense, but we do not use that common sense in a right way, filipinos r just very gud in critizicing, very gud in talking, chatting with no sense, PILIPINO TALAGA…

@lierx
Guest

you’r such a ****ing pres.noy noy aquino’s follower who do nothing but to stole the bayan’s yaman. aquino is just like arroyo “puro salita wala naman sa gawa” so just shut up 😛

@lierx
Guest

juan or watever. close kayo ni noy-noy para masabi ean? FC

wenden96
Guest

I feel sorry for the armed forces…parang, anu ipapatigil nya ang modernization at ipamimigay sa mga palamunin….eh d walang salita sya sa sinabi nya noong last na SONA….wheres the maestrale that he promised, what about the FA-50, what about the rehabilitation and upgrade of the old assets…

WinterSoldier
Guest

Kaya when I heard some of my friends talking about BS Aquino being ‘honest’, I’ve said “Oh puleeeeeze.” 😀

But when he’s talking about that he will halt the modernization project and instead give money to the poor? Let’s see if things will be better if we keep on doing that.

begalon
Guest
WinterSoldier, America did just like that. Giving away money to the poor. Well, definitely helped them out of poverty, to wit: they ended up driving Cadillacs and other luxuries. Unfortunately, the US govt realized that it fosters laziness, so once again the govt helped them train various skills and set a deadline to stop the money flow. This is a good example the Philippine govt has to emulate. Well, we are doing just that with the help of TESDA and at the same time doling out money so that they can afford to go school. Not bad eh? It is… Read more »
domo
Guest

But not here in fliplandia. A lot of poor people here already given lots of dole outs and CCTs for years but they still remain being a bunch of freeloaders thanks to their laziness and anti-progress mindset. Wag ka nang magtaka kung bakit andami pa ring mga squatters sa imperial manila.
Did you just made that post only to play the victim card for those “professional” squatters?

Johnny Saint
Guest

begalon,

America set a limit to welfare? You are either misinformed or being deceitful. The thrust of the Obama administration is to expand the welfare coverage. There is no initiative to limit, much less abolish dole out programs that aren’t working.

DAN The MAN
Guest

Welfare is limited by some USA states. Pennsylvania is one state where the # of children at the time of applying for welfare is NEVER rewarded, or is increased, by having more children.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Dan,

You just highlighted my point. While some individual states may opt to limit welfare coverage, the main thrust of the US federal government has been to extend unemployment benefits and disability. Not to create incentives for re-entering the workforce.

nenita bearneza
Guest

@winter soldier,,,been doing household assessment for the past 4 years for the poorest of the poor.i think d small amount given to them thru cct is not very alarming…..it can,t even drain government’s funds….what is most alarming is the pdaf scandal of some of our legislators….this is corruption in broad daylight.

begalon
Guest

Nenita,

Im not a big fan of CCT, but it helps the poor get their children go to school. In my community there are families whose children do not go to school due to poverty and parent’s negligence. It is justifiable, perhaps.

I am interested if you could share with us some of your assessment of the poorest.

Yes, Pork scam is the corruption of the century. We need to keep the issue in the front burner. I like your “corruption in broad daylight’, phrase.

Johnny Saint
Guest

You don’t find the amount spent on CCT alarming? Do some simple math. 3 million beneficiaries. At a minimum of PhP1,100.00 a month, that’s PhP3.3 billion a month WASTED (considering the number of poor has risen by 800,000 since Pnoy became president). And now they intend to EXPAND the coverage and increase the number of beneficiaries. That means a ballooning debt as the Aquino administration seeks to borrow more money to fill the budget for 2014. If you find nothing wrong with this, you are delusional.

wenden96
Guest

that is why Im really hurt with that thoughts of penoy…for example Im loosing my job this august and does the thinks to save the people like me who paid a hefty tax for 10 years?palamunin bakit ganun….

Hyden Toro
Guest

They were all: lies, delusions, and more lies…
The country became even worse under the Aquino administration. Tourism rises, along with the rise of child prostitutions…

begalon
Guest

Very well, view differs from different perspective, but I am delighted with the progress. Doesnt matter how people look at it, it is PROGRESS and nobody can deny it.

WinterSoldier
Guest

Umm… what kind of PROGRESS is that? You mean, sugarcoated?

domo
Guest

What progress? You mean going back to the stone age with you and the dumb flips’ dysfunctional mindset?

begalon
Guest

Yes, thanks for the nice words and yes, I am dumb but sometime it is good to be dumb, you cant go wrong being one. dysfunctional mindset perhaps, but in a different way of not calling name names. Nice guy huh? Try to be one sometimes, it is a good nourishment for the spirit.

domo
Guest

Oh good to be dumb and a moron eh? Until you become incompetent and annoy others. Next thing you know, they’ll make fun of your moronism. You think you can even handle that you clown?

domo
Guest

Moreover, you sound like you prefer eating pagpag than a real food since they are cheaper because you are not very resourceful for finding solutions. In short, you always do the pwede na iyan/ bahala na mentality making yourself a big fat loser.

begalon
Guest

Winter! Oh Boy, As smart as you are, I am sure you understand that word PROGESS. I am a big boy already, fact is that I am old enough to be your father and I dont get into “smart as you are game.” Sugarcoated maybe, but it is “sweet like a raindrop upon your tongue,” Shirley Basset.

WinterSoldier
Guest

Sorry bro, but I’ve lost interest after last year’s debacle. Yes, it’s sugarcoated because there are STILL many are unemployed and even the squatters issue is still there.

All anti-corruption talk but for instance. ALL TALK.

begalon
Guest

Winter, it is an honor. Bro is a nice thing to say. I know we have all kind of problems. We are a society who is used to chaos and we couldnt changed that easily. Takes a social change becoming organized.

Yes, I am with you on unemployment, but not to worry something is being done.

I think the best way to fight squatter problem is offense. Meaning get rid of it before they could settle in. Our problem is that the authorities look the other way when they start to build their box house on private or govt property.

domo
Guest

Big boy eh? More like immature and like Wile E. Coyote, a “genius”.

begalon
Guest

Domo,

I do eat a good food because I make more than 5 generals and yet maintained humility, that is probably why I pay attention to good manners and respect other views.

I have nothing else to say to you, Domo and wish you all the best.

Bienb
Guest
Progress?!!! WTH is begalon talking about? we’re borrowing more, spending more, with resources to pay getting less. Reverse motion is not progressing! Toink! When you talk about progress, please enumerate a few. As the article clearly pointed out, government agencies and personnel doing their job is not progress initiated by the president. 1.has he done anything to create more jobs? where? 2. has he championed laws to promote transparency in government? which one? 3. has he done anything to attract foreign investors, aside from repeatedly saying “The Philippines is an investor’s paradise!”, as if investors are so stupid not to… Read more »
joeld
Guest

I’ll call it progress when OFWs like me would choose to work there in the Philippines instead of some God forsaken land which has a name you can hardly pronounce.

begalon
Guest

Well Joeld, you can always come back in the Philippines, it is a choice you have to make. I did mine after over thirty years in America.

Read on investment 101 if not familiar with it and put some of your money at PSE.

joeld
Guest

You do realize this is not just about financial security? Wow, gee, good for you! 30 years in the US, really? And still you chose to come back? I sense something out of whack there. Or ….., yeah right.

begalon
Guest
Joeld, Yeah dude, I realize there are many reasons besides financial security. I knew many friends who came back and for me starting a new family is certainly not out of whack. This is a different world and missed lots of comfort things like food and parking lots, but I made that choice anyhow. In what part of the world are you? I will have three more retirement checks coming in, in two months to support my retirement, so if you ask me, pay (save) yourself first for your retirement, since OFW employers doesnt provide pension plan, so you really… Read more »
Gogs
Member

For the last 24 hours or so GRP been inundated with first time commenters or commentators speaking entirely in Tagalog basically saying the same thing. All discrediting the blog. Either part of the Ricky’s master strategy or that is all they can hire at this point.

libertas
Guest

Unstructured, uninformative, and uninspiring.

The usual back-slapping and self-congratulatory tone, but with FoI being a dead duck, and no mention of PDAF scandals then its back to snouts in the trough and an increase in inequality, and with no economic constitutional reform don’t expect inclusive growth to actually happen.

The only constant will be more deceit, propaganda, and surveys

william jacinto juan
Guest

As a “Boss”, I’m still not satisfied although I believe that P’Noy might have done quite well so far in the fight against GRAFT & CORRUPTION but there are still many important things that need to be done such as the Transparency Bill, scrapping the corrupt pork barrel system, rationalizing the corrupt election process, among others… may I share with everyone my own political advocacy… Mabuhay ka Pilipinas!… https://www.facebook.com/notes/william-jacinto-juan-i/my-two-cents-worth-of-solutions-to-minimize-corruption-in-government/390943662414

Thomas Jefferson
Guest
We are now a dysfunctional democracy. Thanks to BS Aquino. The tyrant now controls the lower house and the senate. So much for co-equal and co-independent bodies under the Constitution. BS uses the extreme, persuasive power of the purse to create a rubber stamp congress. He even puts down the opposition using the same strategy. Mr. Aquino achieved full control of the senators and lower house congressmen. All this without firing a shot or declaring Martial Law. Where are the patriots and mavericks of the Congress? Where have they all gone? The repeat propaganda slogans, manipulated surveys, deceit and illusion… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
Guest
There is one incident that gives me and pro-democracy people the shivers. This is coplan armado a.k.a. the plan that launched the Atimonan massacre. I have a legal question to ask… BS Aquino is also the commander-in-chief. He ordinarily approves and gives the green light to plans. He gave the green light to the operation and this resulted in mass murder. My question is… under the doctrine of command responsibility is Mr. BS Aquino liable to be charged with multiple murder along with the soldiers and police who committed the same? Is there a conspiracy angle? Any lawyers out there?
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[…] Analysis of the Fourth State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino basically states that Presidential term launched by hazy goals has produced hazy results. […]

mcalleyboy
Guest

There was an English translation so I read it, apparently the current administration is blocked from merging highways, there’s a serious road blocker owned by a crony of Marcos and every time it’s built upon there’s 30 year extension? I’m thinking why can’t something be done about this?

Johnny Saint
Guest

There really isn’t any reason for this to stop them. Sonofa…! It’s the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT fer Gossakes! That’s supposed to mean something. And he owns congress as well as the supreme court! A Marcos crony preventing them from moving forward? That’s a very lame excuse.

Lord Chimera
Guest

It would seem that BSA just wasted everyone’s time for 102 minutes. then again wasting things is what he’s good at.

merz
Guest
hi, i agree with u Juan, oo nga kng makpanhusga tau, para naman tau ai may nagagawa, kng sa paaralan nga lng ung guro d nia mapatahimik ang sampo na estudyante sa kguluhan nila, ano pa kaya c pangulong noynoy na halos lahat iintindihin nia at pg my d xa natupad sa pangako nia ciniccsi natin sa kanya lhat ng problema. simple lng naman disiplina sa ating sarili, bago naman kau manhusgawa sa kng ano ang ngawa ng ating pangulo ay itanong u muna sa sarili niyo kng ano ba ang nagawa mo para sa ikabubuti ng bayan,ng pilipinas. critizicing… Read more »
Gerry
Guest

The R.P. is fucked, yes FUCKED! and no ONE is going to be able to change that. if you are ALL not going to do what needs to be done (see Greece/Bulgaria/Spain) then just get out of the country as quickly as you possibly can.
The RATS have already left the sinking ship that is that HELL-HOLE country.don’t get left behind.

IMBOKERI
Guest

EXCUSE ME……AS A FOREIGNER, I DO EXPERIENCE THE SAME PROBLEMS IN MY COUNTRY’S ECONOMY…WHEN CAMPAIGNING LEADERS CLAIM TO BE PERFECT IN THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR SUGARY WORDS OF PROMISES AND POLICIES…..WHEN THEY ENTER THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE..THEY IGNORE WHAT THEY PROMISE TO THE PEOPLE……IT IS A DISEASE…THERE IS MEDIX TO CURE….THEREFORE CHOOSE THE BEST LEADER WHEN U CAST FOR SUCH COMPLAINS AND HEADACHES….

z3bstr1ka
Guest

I noticed, Domo has kind of become a troll, and often disregards/disrespects any other opinions. I feel you only want to make people feel bad.

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